Let’s face it, people make mistakes. And when it comes to wine storage, a lot of people make innocent mistakes that end up costing them a few (or more!) good bottles of wine. Here's how to avoid some common wine storage blunders.
The Top Five Wine Storage Mistakes
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<p class="wp-caption-text">The proper way to store wine: on its side! (photo by Jorge Royan)</p></div>
1. Storing wine upright. If you store wine with your bottles standing up, the wine does not keep the corks wet, meaning they can dry out, allow excess air inside, and then make the wines taste like vinegar. It’s easy to buy a case of wine, put it off the the side in the basement (upright) to store later, and forget about it until it’s too late. Don’t let this happen to you! Store your wine on its side.
2. Not controlling temperature. Gradual changes between the seasons won’t harm wine, but rapid temperature fluctuations--like big, same-day changes--will age wine prematurely. If your cellar temperatures are all over the map, invest in a WhisperKOOL Extreme 8000ti (a large cellar unit) or another quality wine cooling unit, so your cellar's temperature stays constant. Read up on proper temperatures for your collection, too.
3. Not controlling humidity. Corks will shrink if cellars fall below 50% humidity, letting excess air into your bottles (even if they’re properly stored on their sides). In fact, a humidity level of 70% or 80% is quite good for your wine! If your cellar is too dry, invest in a humidifier to preserve your precious vino.
4. Sunlight in the cellar. UV exposure degrades a wine’s organic compounds, making it age too rapidly.
5. Vibration or frequent moves. Keep your wine away from vibrating machinery, and even trucks going by when possible. Low vibrations can “shake” wine bottles, thus disturbing their sediment and speeding up the aging process. If using house-shaking, vibrating power tools, its best to use them away from where you store your wine. And don't move your bottles more than necessary.
By avoiding these errors, you'll better preserve your wine collection and insure it ages appropriately. Cheers!